Animal and livestock feeding operations general information

 
Environmental regulations
 
Animal feeding operations (AFOs) may be subject to the following environmental regulations: 
  • Colorado Water Quality Control Commission Regulation No. 81, which addresses surface and groundwater protection requirements for animal feeding operations and non-permitted concentrated animal feeding operations.
  • Section 61.17 of Colorado Water Quality Control Commission Regulation No. 61, which addresses discharge permits for concentrated animal feeding operations.
  • Section 61.13 of Colorado Water Quality Control Commission Regulation No. 61, which addresses discharge permits for housed commercial swine feeding operations.
  • Colorado Water Quality Control Commission Regulation No. 66, a financial assurance regulation for housed commercial swine feeding operations.
  • Colorado Air Quality Control Commission Regulation No. 2, Part B, which requires housed commercial swine feeding operations to obtain an operating permit and an Odor Management Plan that details how the facility will minimize odor from all aspects of the operation to the greatest extent possible.
 
 
Defining an animal feeding operation (AFO)
An animal feeding operation is a facility or lot with one or more animals where the following conditions are met: 
  • Animals have been, are or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period.
  • Crops, vegetation, forage growth or post-harvest residues aren’t sustained in the normal growing season over any portion of the lot or facility.
All animal feeding operations in Colorado must meet the best management requirements in Regulation No. 81 for protecting waters.
 
 
Defining a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO)
A concentrated animal feeding operation may be defined as either a large or medium concentrated animal feeding operation, or otherwise designated as a concentrated animal feeding operation by the Environmental Agriculture Program according to the Water Quality Control Commission Regulation No. 81A concentrated animal feeding operation stables or confines at least the number of animals listed below.
 
Large concentrated animal feeding operation:
  • 700 mature dairy cows.
  • 1,000 cattle (including but not limited to heifers, steers, bulls and cow/calf pairs).
  • 1,000 veal calves.
  • 2,500 swine, each weighing 55 pounds or more.
  • 10,000 swine, each weighing less than 55 pounds.
  • 500 horses.
  • 10,000 sheep or lambs.
  • 55,000 turkeys.
  • 30,000 laying hens or broilers using a liquid manure handling system.
  • 82,000 laying hens if using a manure handling system other than liquid.
  • 125,000 chickens (other than laying hens) if using a manure handling system other than liquid.
  • 30,000 ducks using a manure handling system other than liquid (5,000 if liquid).
 
 
When permits are required
Concentrated animal feeding operations are defined as point sources of pollution under the Colorado Water Quality Control Act. As such, they must have a discharge permit before discharging pollutants to waters. (See section 61.17 of Regulation No. 61.) A concentrated animal feeding operation whose operator decides not to apply for a permit must protect surface water by adhering to the surface water protection elements of Regulation No. 81. All concentrated animal feeding operations, whether permitted or not, must adhere to the groundwater protection elements of Regulation No. 81.
 
 
Defining a housed commercial swine feeding operation (HCSFO)
A housed commercial swine feeding operation is a facility capable of housing 800,000 pounds or more of live animal weight of swine at any one time, or deemed commercial under local zoning or land use regulations.
 
All housed commercial swine feeding operations must hold an individual discharge permit under Section 61.13 of Regulation No. 61 (Colorado Discharge Permit System Regulations) and hold an odor emissions permit under Colorado Regulation No. 2, Part B).